Toshiba SD-3750 prog scan DVD player review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kwang Suh, Oct 7, 2001.

  1. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Well, I picked up a Toshiba SD-3750 yesterday. Here's my thoughts so far:
    1) No chroma bug at all. Tested on a variety of DVDs, including the TS chapter 4 torture test. Also, no flickering.
    2) Excellent picture quality. Better than my SD-5109. But, I don't think it's quite on par with the Panny. There seems to be a bit more ringing with the Tosh. Even so, it's nothing like the ringing in the SD-5109. The ringing on the RP-56 is almost nil. Excellent playback of non-anamorphic DVDs. In this respect, it far exceeds the SD-5109.
    3) Menu speed is quite fast. Not as fast as the Panny RP-56, which was blazing fast. Still, it's very nice. A huge step up from the 5109. A collosal step up from my very old Pioneer DV-414. So if you're graduating from a first-gen player, you'll probably be blown away by how quickly you can navigate. Especially useful for VE or Avia.
    4) Ergonomics: good. There's controls on the front of the DVD player itself, which I find very handy. The OSD uses mostly text instead of icons.
    Unfortunately, the remote bites. Hard. It looks exactly like my old Pioneer DV-414 remote! You have to push down REALLY hard on the keys, and they're very very small with no backlighting. Of course, a lot of them are the same size. Luckily I have a universal remote so this isn't too much of an issue for me.
    5) Aspect ratio control: It's all there. For people whose TVs lock into full mode, there's a setting that will add the black bars to the side of a 4:3 picture. Also, you can toggle between interlaced and progressive on the remote. You can also switch between video, film and auto mode from the menu.
    6) The unit also pays CD-Rs, CD-RWs, VCDs and MP3s.
    Some other things:
    I think this unit is more sensitive to flaws on the disk surface. I could play my Simpsons disk 1 past the credits on the "Homer's Oddessy" episode on the RP-56. This player locks up. So did my 5109.
    Like my 5109, when I stop a DVD, I can resume it from that position if I hit play. On the Panny, I had to tell the player to memorize the position first. I prefer the Toshiba method.
    For specs, go to: http://www.toshiba.ca/ceg/html/SD3750.htm
    [Edited last by Kwang Suh on October 07, 2001 at 06:17 PM]
     
  2. Kevan F

    Kevan F Auditioning

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    Hi Kwang:
    I've been looking high and low for info on the SD-3750, but there is virtually nothing on the web about this player. Until I saw your review I was beginning to think this player was vapour ware.
    If you don't mind where did you buy it and for how much? (I live in Edmonton so the price for me would be similiar).
    You compared it to the 5109, which is the only progressive scan player I have ever tried on my Toshiba TW40X81, for overall picture quality how does stack up against the 5109?
    How is the CD audio playback? I find my SD2109 fairly lacking in that area is the 3750 any better?
    Thanks for your time
    Kevan
     
  3. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    So why does Toshiba seem to offer a COMPLETELY different DVD model line-up in Canada than in the U.S.!?
    WEIRD.
     
  4. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    I got the player at A&B Sound for just $335.
    The picture quality is better than the SD-5109. There's no chroma bug and no flicker bug.
    As for CD audio playback, I haven't tried. The 5109 hurt my ears when I played CDs in it, and I have a Denon DCM-370 for CD playback anyways. Overall, I think that DVD players suck as CD players. It's put in as an afterthought.
     
  5. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    We just got the SD-3750 in our store and I thought I would comment...
    First off, I am impressed with the cosmetics of the unit. Given the price point, I find the unit of sound build quality. In particular, I noticed the disc tray to be quite smooth - just an observation I made.
    I won't give an in-depth review of the picture quality, but I will make two points, putting the good before the bad.
    1. The GOOD news is Toshiba appears to have FINALLY addressed their poor downconversion algorithm. I was surprised to see a very smooth picture when a 16:9 enhanced image was downconverted for display on a 4:3 set. I did not notice any undue softness, as is often seen on Sony players, which are also noted for their quality downconversion. Very nice.
    2. I am sorry to say, and contrary to other reports in this thread, that the 3750 does indeed seem to suffer from the chroma bug. One need look no further than the opening logo to Toy Story 2 - watching this, you can clearly see the jagged edge where the "2" falls in the red area under the "Toy Story" logo. Incidentally, I tried this with the player running in 16:9 mode, to eliminate the chance that downconversion artifacts would be mistaken for the chroma bug. I've seen the bug a lot worse, but it is there.
    I will concur, however, that I did not see the "flicker" problem, which I would argue is much more annoying than the chroma bug.
    Overall, I think the SD-3750 could be a nice addition to Toshiba's line-up.
    ----
    Jeff
    ------------------
    "They're coming to get you Barbara..."
     
  6. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Hmm, I haven't seen the chroma bug at all, and I have TS2, and stuck my head to right next to the screen to look for it.
    Hmm... was the player actually in progressive mode? You mentioned that you set it to 16:9 mode, implying that you watched the movie on a 4:3 set that doesn't have a 16:9 mode, in which case I don't know of any TV sets that accept a progressive signal and don't have a 16:9 mode. The chroma bug only manifests itself when the player is in progressive mode.
    Oh wait, duh, I had forgotten about the Toshiba 4:3 series. What TV did you test on?
    [Edited last by Kwang Suh on October 14, 2001 at 01:17 AM]
     
  7. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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  8. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, I got an aspect ratio question for you. Can you try this with at 16:9 tosh? Set the tv to standard (4:3) and feed the tv both a progressive 16:9 and a progressive 4:3 image. What happens? Does the tv automatically resize the display for the content? I'm also curious about if there is a feature for expanding the letterboxed discs.
     
  9. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Also, anyone know what chipset in is the new Tosh players?
     
  10. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Jeff:
    As I have a 16:9 Tosh myself (56H80), the question is easily answered.
    Setting the TV in 4:3 mode (called 'Normal') creates a 4:3 image size in the middle of the screen. This image is flanked on either side by gray bars.
    In this mode, if the DVD player is set to 4:3 mode, you will see a properly proportioned image - albeit smaller in size, since part of the screen is taken up for the gray bars. The image will also suffer from loss of resolution, since the player is having to downconvert - and thus the benefit of anamorphic material is lost.
    With the DVD player set to 16:9 mode, you will an improperly proportioned image, since the DVD player assumes the TV will display the image properly. However, 'Normal' mode is designed only for viewing of 4:3 material in its proper aspect ratio.
    So, as you can guess, the TV does not automatically resize according to the image fed. I don't see how this would be possible. You have to set the TV to the 'Full' mode to watch anamorphic widescreen movies. Some sets automatically go to 'Full' mode if they are fed a progressive signal - but here is where the "lock on Full" problem comes into play. Just because you are feeding the TV a progressive signal does not mean that a 16:9 ratio display would be appropriate.
    For watching letterboxed material (ie. non-anamorphically enhanced), one would use 'TheaterWide 2' on a Toshiba TV. This mode simply zooms into the center of a 4:3 image. This cuts off the top and bottom of the screen (ie. the letterbox bars) but does not change the geometry. Watching a letterbox presentation in this mode will preserve the original aspect ratio.
    ----
    Jeff
    ------------------
    "They're coming to get you Barbara..."
     
  11. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, thanks.
    quote:
    So, as you can guess, the TV does not automatically resize according to the image fed. I don't see how this would be possible.[/quote]
    The tv does do this. My Sony sat-hd100 has a variable output mode. If the tv is set to standard and the source is 4:3 the tv displays 4:3. If the source is HDTV the tv switches to a 16:9 mode. Not sure which mode that is.
    The portable toshiba dvd players will do this to for the screen, putting up grey bars for 4:3. It seems like there is a way to detect the source mode.
    I've just been hoping that maybe some dvd player might do this.
    [Edited last by Jeff D on October 14, 2001 at 06:42 PM]
     
  12. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Jeff,
    Any idea whether or not the SD4700 or 5700 will be using the same MPEG decoder? I tried asking Toshiba, but the rep had no clue whatsoever!
    Thanks,
    Ron
     
  13. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    To answer my own question about why the product lines are different in Canada vs. the U.S. - maybe they're NOT. I walked into Best Buy here in Atlanta to see a Toshiba 3750! WHY then is there NO info about it on Toshiba's web site?????
     
  14. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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  15. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I'm not at all speaking from experience, but apparently all of the new Toshiba models are using the Zoran chipset, which means that it has the chroma bug. Here's what I got from the DVD Benchmark regarding the Zoran:
    Players that DO have the chroma problem (chipset in parentheses):
    Mitsubishi DD-6000 (Zoran)
    Onkyo DV-S939 (Zoran)
    Toshiba SD-1600 (Zoran)
    Toshiba SD-5109 (Zoran)
    Toshiba SD-6200 (Zoran)
    Toshiba SD-9100 (Zoran)
    Toshiba SD-9200 (Zoran)
     
  16. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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  17. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, I agree and disagree with you on the aspect ratio. If the player can't detect the aspect ratio (and it should, there are many ways to do this) how do the black bars appear on 4:3 content?
    I agree that the player might no be able to produce the signal needed to send to the tv, because that's a HDTV spec and not a dvd spec but, I'm hoping it would be possible. I really would like the tv ot handle the side bars.
    I was watching Snow white the other day and there was a green line on the left edge of the 4:3 widow whenever the movie had black frames. That was annoying.
     
  18. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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  19. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    FYI, the 3750 is only $189 at Best Buy! Can you change aspect ratio with the PLAYER while in progressive out (a la the Panny RP91)? If so, this player seems like a STEAL, especially since I don't care about MP3 and other format playback (which I do off my file server instead).
    [Edited last by Paul Higginbottom on October 17, 2001 at 10:58 PM]
     
  20. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I'm having a hard time deciding between the new Toshibas and a Panasonic RP56. I've heard so many good things about the RP56, but I really like many of the features on the Toshiba. This is difficult!
     

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